June 16, 2018

Edible Fly-by-Night Flower | Mary & the Witch's Flower


          "...There in the hidden corner behind the snowberries, growing in the shelter of the fallen bough, was a little clump of flowers such as she had never seen before.
          The leaves, set in stiff rosettes, were of a curious bluish-green, mottled like frogs, and above them on slender stems hung the flowers, clusters of graceful purple bells, whose throats were streaked with silver, and whose pistils, like long tongues, thrust out of the freaked throats in stabs of bright gold.
          Mary knelt down on the fallen branch and gazed at the flowers, while beside her sat the little black cat, waving his black tail, and watching her out of his green, green eyes."
The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart


        "Mary and the Witch's Flower", the beautiful animated film by Studio Ponoc based on the 1971 children's book The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart, was released on blu-ray through GKids on May 1st and I wanted to make something in celebration. And because I couldn't not think of recreating this flower every time I saw a pretty blueberry (which is often because of my frequent breakfast of yogurt and blueberries). :)

          The book and film center on a young girl named Mary staying in the English countryside who follows a black cat into the woods and discovers a special flower and an old broomstick. She's whisked away to a school of magic and amid the sights and wonders learns of a dark side that she has the power to set right.


This recipe goes along with the Fiction Kitchen Podcast episode in which I talk about "Mary & the Witch's Flower" and The Little Broomstick!

For another "Mary and the Witch's Flower" inspired food, try my Mary & The Witch's Flower Garden Sand Café Replica Sandwich Plate! I also made some little edible broomsticks, and an inspired Starbucks iced tea!


Note: This creation is based on the film version of the Fly-by-Night flower which is very close to the book, though there are very teeny-tiny golden pistils in the film compared to the book's description. I omitted them this time around because I was out of gold dust! But I added instructions in the recipe below as an optional extra. Whenever I make these again I'll add them and share a picture to this post. :)
          When choosing blueberries for this, pick ones that have a pronounced calyx which is the circle with the zigzag edges/ruffles that looks like a little crown. :)
          You can use matcha Pocky for this recipe, but you'll still need to make a little bit of green chocolate to stick on the berries and mint.


Edible "Fly-by-Night"

Ingredients:
1 Plain Biscuit Stick (OR matcha pocky & forego dipping the stick)
1/4 White Chocolate mixed with Matcha Powder OR 1/4 Cup Light Green Candy Melt
4 Fresh Mint Leaves; 2 small & 2 med-large
13 Fresh Blueberries; 8 med-large & 5 very small
1-2 Drops Clear Almond Extract
Dash of Edible Pearl or Light Blue Luster Dust

Directions:
If using white chocolate & matcha powder, heat the white chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds, stir, & heat for another 10 seconds, stirring again afterwards. If it's not completely melted, heat for another 10 seconds. To make the chocolate smoother & better for dipping, add 1/4 tsp. vegetable oil. Next, starting with 1/4 tsp. matcha powder & adding a little more as you go, stir in enough matcha to make the chocolate a nice light green.

If using green candy melts, melt them in the same way as with the white chocolate. If they aren't thin enough to dip into well, stir in 1/4 tsp. of shortening, adding a little more if needed.

Dip the biscuit stick into the green chocolate & coat all the way up to where you fingers are holding it, leaving about 1/2" uncovered. I poured my chocolate into a large test tube for this step, but spooning it on or pooling the chocolate along the length of a cup will work, too. Let excess chocolate drip off into the cup or bowl.

Lay the coated biscuit stick onto a sheet of parchment or waxed paper. Quickly place 2 small blueberries at the top so that they are pressed against the melted chocolate. Place 2 of the medium-large blueberries beneath them, & then 2 more beneath those. A little further down the stick place the 2 small mint leaves, & the 2 medium-large mint leaves below that. Let sit for a few minutes to harden.

Carefully flip the stick & blueberries over & use a toothpick or skewer to place some of the melted chocolate onto the backs of the top small blueberries, across/perpendicular to the stick. Place 2 more small berries onto the chocolate. Repeat this step, with the backs of the 2 larger sets of berries. Let sit for a few more minutes to harden.

Carefully lift up the stick & berries & dab a little more melted chocolate onto the very top & place the last small blueberry on. Let it harden. (You can also attach this little berry while the stick is still laying down by finding something small to hold it up & into place while the chocolate hardens.)

Gently lay the stick back down & mix the almond extract & luster dust with a small, clean, kitchen-use paint brush. Brush the pearly mixture onto the blueberries, making them shine. (Sadly, if you squish these flowers in the palms of your hands you won't get any magical powers, only a juicy mess.)

Optional Extra (need gold edible luster dust): Cut 13, thin, 1" long segments from the fresh mint stalks. Use a toothpick to carefully poke a hole into the center/calyx of each blueberry, & then press the stalk segments in, keeping 1/2" or more of the stalk sticking out, 1 for each berry. Stir a gold luster dust mixture the same way you made the silver, & paint each of the stalk segments gold. These are the golden pistils!

*      *      *
For more "Mary and the Witch's Flower" inspired food, try my
Mary & The Witch's Flower Garden Sand Café Replica Sandwich Plate,

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